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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  January 31, 2013 2:00am-3:00am EST

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weekend. now you can do it with the hooters approved way. thanks to the dream team. this year you won't be winging it. that does it for us. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. the nra's flip-flop of background checks. why they say they're against them now. plus, bob -- and the man who fooled manti te'o comes clean and talks about his real romantic feelings. a bizarre unveiling. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett. tonight, major nra flip-flop. at a hearing today, the head of the gun group shared his thoughts on background checks and as you might guess, he is against them. but, he wasn't always.
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jim acosta has the story. >> please, i'm not trying to play games here. >> it flared up early when patrick leahy grilled lapierre over background checks. >> you do not support mandatory background checks in all >> we do not because the fact is, law right now is a failure the way it's working. >> as it turns out, he was for background checks at gun shows before he was against them. and said so in 1999. >> we think it's reasonable to provide mandatory, instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. no loopholes anywhere for anyone. >> when he was reminded of that line -- >> now, you do not support background checks for all firearms. >> i think the check system the way it's working now is a failure.
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>> lapierre's argument -- >> the problem with gun laws is criminals don't cooperate with them. >> but between 1994 and 2009, the justice department says out of 108 million background checks, nearly 2 million were denied. still, he was right on another front. >> 23 states have not been putting the mental records of these mentally incontinent of the system. >> that's backed up by a gao report last year finding between 2004 and 2011, almost half of all-states increased the number available. as for lapierre's flip-flop, he slipped out without taking questions. that's him behind senator ted cruz. >> you know, i understand the media likes to put everything in the context of politics, my focus is on what works. strict gun control does not work. >> the day's other star witness, former congresswoman and
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shooting victim, gabby giffords left with the aid of her husband, who hardly sounded confident. you can they can get a bill passed? yet another sign the fate of gun control won't be settled at a hearing. >> nancy robinson is executive director. matt, let me start with you. pretty interesting about face by the nra and probably surprising a lot of people watching, but tell me why you don't think background checks, a universal background check is going to work? >> first of all, has there ever been a worse spokesman? seriously. i like the 98 version better. the idea it's a panecea, if you look at the three most recent high profile examples, the roar area shooter purchased guns
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legally. the only example where a background check might have changed things is in tucson, but we don't even know. it's a counterfactual if you couldn't have bought a gun legally, he would have found it some other way. >> first, even now, we've got limited checks. there's all these loopholes. department of justice says 1.9 million applications to buy guns were rejected. people were convicted of felonies, had been indicted for crimes. how can you argue blocking won't help? that's a whole lot of people that won't die. >> i don't know if those numbers are right. either way, it's irrelevant. if you want to look at the three most recent high profile cases, i think it's clear that at least two-thirds of the examples, it wouldn't have mattered. now, the real story here, places like chicago, i'm not convinced this would matter at all.
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here's what i think they want. what they really want is gun registration. it just so happens that i think it's completely unconstitutional. >> let me ask you about something matt said. a lot of these horrific shootings, a lot of those causing this reform to gun policy may not have stopped by background checks. the shooting in newtown. the guns from his mother. background checks probably wouldn't have changed anything in that situation. is that relevant? >> well, i just want to say thank you for having me on. i like the 1998 version of wayne lapierre. no loopholes anywhere for anyone. i couldn't have said it better myself. are we going to prevent any more shootings? no, but we can do a lot more to prevent shootings happening in
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chicago, boston, baltimore, l.a., any big or mid-sized city in the country. gun violence mostly committed by people who don't have a second amendment right to have guns. >> mayors against illegal guns came out with a report, fatal gap. even when there are background checks, there's all this stuff that isn't in there. this is going to amaze a lot of people. wayne lapierre brought it up today. give him credit for that. 23 states in the district of columbia don't have submitted fewer than 100 mental health records. 17 states haven't even submitted ten and four states haven't submitted any mental records at all. isn't there a fair point to say that before we focus on expanding that we should enforce and execute the stuff we've got right? >> i think we have to do both. background checks work.
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what doesn't are loopholes in the system and we have to do everything to close those. those include updating our mental health records and including them in the background check system and then also requiring background checks for all guns sold in this country. right now, almost have the guns sold don't even require a background check, so that means that you can go into a gun store and be denied and drive down the street to a gun show and stock up on as many guns as you want and never have to take a criminal background check. >> that's the thing i don't understand. why is there a loophole for gun shows? i don't get it. if you're supposed to have a background check everywhere else, this is one of those things, you know? like you're not partially pregnant. >> right. i think this has been a little bit overblown. if you buy a gun at a gun show from someone who is a business, they have to do the background check, but i think the bigger
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issue is individuals. so like right now, an uncle could sell a shotgun to his nephew and there's no records of that and no background check of that. i think a lot of americans think that's perfectly fine and not a horrible thing. but that is really i think what they're aiming at closing here. i think if the obama administration wants to accomplish something, i think they've -- >> hold on. let me interrupt you there. it isn't just political. because the polls, we just did a poll here at cnn. americans. 92% say there should be background checks in gun stores. 87% on gun shows. the first three words of the constitution are we the people. that comes before, the second, i don't understand. >> so, because it comes chronologically before shall not infringe, it's more powerful? i don't know. >> i'm simply making the point, the people want this. so how is he being political -- >> public opinion has been wrong before.
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by the way, i don't think that we should -- >> matt, even your own leaders i think disagree with your position. even your own readers want -- >> my readers are to the right of atila the hun. my readers want -- my readers want guns. mandatory. that's what my readers want. obama -- this is something he can try to push through and if republicans don't vote for it, they'll look evil and horrible like wayne lapierre against gabby giffords. >> they're going against the will of the majority of the people. >> exactly. i published an op-ed in the philadelphia inquirer a week ago and in it, i outlined three things we could do to make our streets safer and dry up illegally trafficked guns and i was braced actually for a barrage of angry e-mails from the people from the right and i got nothing but praise.
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>> look, i'm not -- >> people who describe themselves as -- excuse me. >> i'm not on principle -- >> thank you, thank you. from people who described themselves as right wing or gun nuts and they said they agreed with everything outlined and basically, it was threefold. background checks for all gun sales. increased accountability for gun dealers who are criminals and doing something to reduce purchasing in this country and they agreed with all three. >> so, first of all, the straw purchasing thing, this will lead to gun registration, that's the bottom line. because how do you track the guns? they have to be registered. that's really what this is
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about. >> register -- i mean, i don't understand. not going to do anything wrong, why do you care if it's registered? do you really think the government is going to try to steal it from you in a revolution? >> let me just say, i think as i did point out at the top of the show, that background checks aren't going to solve the problem. they're not going to do anything. it's not going to solve the problem. >> thank you both for the feisty conversation. it was fun talking to you and please, everyone, let us know what you think. and still, the fbi investigation of a campaign donor widens. it involves accusations of underage prostitution. plus, a hostage standoff in alabama. a man tonight holding a 6-year-old boy in an underground bunker. and after months of delays, this is a big moment. it's finally here. a preview of the blackberry ten later in the show. all stations come over to mission a for a final go.
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prostitution and politics. senator bob menendez is denying claims of a campaign donor, provided him with prostitutes, potentially underage, while he was in the dominican republic last year. now, the senator's denial comes just hours after the office was raided in miami. susan candiotti is "outfront" with this story. what are you learning about this investigation? >> hi, erin. the allegations involve who paid for trips he took to a luxury resort in the dominican republic and who he may have met while there. prostitutes. he denies anything improper about the trips in question and denies he was with prostitutes. a florida eye doctor and his campaign contributor with whom the senator stayed is now under scrutiny with the fbi. dr. salmon's office has been swarming with fbi agents for the last two days. it's unclear why.
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the fbi has been carrying out boxes. the fbi will only say it is conducting quote law enforcement activities. it's unclear whether the fbi raids have anything to do with senator menendez. cnn has also learned in 2011, melvin was slapped with an $11 million tax lien by the irs. the doctor has not returned repeated calls from cnn. menendez acknowledges in a statement that he's flown on the doctor's corporate jet. the doctor has a vacation home at a lush seaside resort in the dominican republic. now, it appears the senate ethics committee may be involved. last fall, it got this e-mail complaint from a new jersey republican state senator asking for an investigation into those caribbean trips. the e-mail complaint questions whether menendez violated the code by quote repeatedly flying on a jet to the dominican
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republic and other locations and soliciting prostitution. last month, a watchdog group received an allegation he was partying with -- in the dominican republic. the group referred it to the fbi. more recently, a conservative blog published a link to videos
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it started with the police chief talking about the problem being violence in our society and then moved on to the parents that lost their beloved son and daughters. scarlett lewis and what she said, describing her 6-year-old son jesse. >> i wanted to take just a few minutes to introduce you to jesse. jesse was 6 years old.
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he had really soft skin and i used to grab him and pinch him every chance i got. he was getting pretty heavy at 61 pounds but i still carried him when he was tired. i think about kissing his sleeping cheek all the time. how soft it was, and how glad i am that i took the opportunity when i could. >> reporter: i spoke with some other parents here, erin. i spoke with chris mcdonnell. you know that he lost his daughter grace and wasn't here to talk tonight publicly. he was here to listen. he said tonight is a valuable night to have this conversation. i also took time to speak with dave wheeler, the father of benjamin wheeler. he told me that tonight is very important because we're having this discussion and he stood up there and he talked to people and he said, any right that human beings has does not trump the right of my son to life. he got huge applause. a standing ovation from the entire audience. and we've been seeing that all
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night. one woman also said -- and this really stood out to me, speaking to this panel of bipartisan lawmakers, make your decision based on if your child didn't walk out of that school. they have been on the same page and calling for what is in line with what president obama has been calling for and that is a limit on what kind of assault weapons, what high-capacity magazines there can be. it is very cohesive here tonight. people are on the same page. many more hours ahead on this discussion. >> poppy harlow, thank you very much. and now to a tragedy in chicago. a 15-year-old girl who performed at her school's marching band at president obama's inauguration was killed. ted rowlands is out front in chicago. >> reporter: she was one of those kids that always seemed to have a smile on her face.
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what you can see in this youtube video. that's how friends are describing her. the latest innocent victim of gun violence in the city of chicago. hadiya had just returned from the inauguration in washington where she performed with her high school team. jada is the girl next to her. >> she was real happy on the trip. she's a nice person. she smiled all the time. never mad, never sad. >> on tuesday afternoon, she had just finished a final exam and was with a group of friends avoiding a rain under this park shelter. witnesses say a gunman came out from behind this fence and started shooting. the park where she was killed is one mile from president obama's home in chicago. >> the president and first lady's thoughts and prayers are with the family. all of our thoughts and prayers are with her family and as the president has said, we will never be able to eradicate every act of evil, but if we can even
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save one child's life, we have on obligation to try. >> illinois senator dick durbin also brought up the murder during a gun hearing on capitol hill talking about her trip to washington. >> the highlight of her young 15-year-old life. yesterday in a rainstorm after school, she raced to a shelter. a gunman came in and shot her dead. just a matter of days. after the happiest day of her life. she's gone. >> reporter: it's been a deadly start to 2013 in chicago. hadiya is a 42nd murder victim this year. she is what is best in our city. a child going to school, takes a final exam, just been to the inaugural, with a responsibility. see a stop to this and all of us
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are responsible. >> students and grief counselors talking about hadiya and her wonderful smile. >> every other days you're hearing students and killings. now, more parents are burying their children in this society. next, the mastermind of the manti te'o hoax comes clean and makes an admission of romantic feelings. then, take a look at this. a blanket of smog forces factories closed, cars off the road, thousands of sick children. the story "outfront" next. [ male announcer ] coughequence™ #8. waking the baby.
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we are back tonight with tonight's outer circle. we go to beijing where pollution prompted factories to close and people were kept off the road. when hillary clinton was there,
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they clear it up so it looks gorgeous. it looked more like the one on the right but not that bad. they told everyone to avoid going outdoors. those children have been suffering from smog. >> erin, you should be seeing downtown beijing's stunning skyline, but instead, i'm standing in front of a white wall. that's how bad the air has been for the past few weeks. pollution index went off the charts. it's spreading to many other parts of china. the government has taken notice, blaming coal burning and car exhausts, but both are challenging issues to address. the leaders have promised more government action, but people feel frustrated. many are rushing to stores to buy masks like this one and with no quick solutions, they feel they have to hold their breath a bit longer.
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erin? the mastermind between the manti te'o hoax. for the first time, the man who tricked the football star into falling in love with a fictitious woman is talking. he's telling dr. phil that his feelings were genuine and he struggled to break things off. >> i wanted to end it because after everything i had gone through, i finally realized that i had to move on with my life and get me, ronaiah, had i had to start living and let this go. >> dr. phil asked the question so many want to know. why? >> we have a young man that fell deeply romantically in love. does he say that? >> i asked him straight up, was this a romantic relationship
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with you and he says yes. i said, are you, therefore, gay? he said, well, when you put it that way, yes. and then he caught himself and said, i am confused. >> "outfront" tonight, robi ludwig. this is crazy. >> it's very possible that the person who created this hoax actually did have a crush on manti te'o and was confused about his sexuality and the reason why he impersonated this woman was to see what it would feel like to be intimate with manti te'o, to be loved by manti te'o. who would say this if it weren't true? i don't get the sense that he's a sociopath. i get the sense that he's confused. a lot of people lie about themselves on the internet. it's this perfect place to experiment. >> let me ask you about this. he's sort of transposing, that he is the woman, he's the one
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having the relationship with manti te'o. he talked about the online relationship and essentially he was carrying it on with manti te'o. here's what he said to dr. phil. >> there are many times where manti and lennay had broken up but something would bring them back together, whether it was something going on in his life or lennay's life or in this case, my life. >> interesting. lennay's life. >> almost like an alter ego. he would be lennay. >> so he is mentally stable? is this the thing that kind of happens sometimes? forget the horrificness of the hoax. >> we see this with internet dating. sometimes people lie. they say that they are a different something. some people lie about being a woman or a man and it doesn't necessarily mean that they are confused about their sexual identity. it's just a place where they can experiment and see what it's like to impersonate the other sex.
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>> so, dr. phil said that mr. tuiasosopo had life experiences that damaged him in serious ways. what do you think they could be?. >> well, i wonder if he was sexually abused by a man. sometimes we see people who were sexually abused, especially when they are boys, they sometimes get confused if a man's actually abused them and if they got excited and liked it. they question their sexuality. it can be confusing for them even if they are not gay. you wonder if they are. >> the young boys being abused, highly public publicized and they are so young that they are going to react to sexual drive. >> i wonder if this boy was acting out in this kind of way, tricking somebody into having a relationship, that's what people do when they are incested. there's a trick going on. >> i hear what you're saying but i have to ask you then, what about manti te'o? because i still don't understand how you can go this line, having
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an online relationship without another person -- >> he's naive. i think his parents said it all. he's a kid. he's probably a kid who focused on football. he doesn't know about the world or relationships or the internet i think he was just really duped and then probably embarrassed. >> uh-huh. >> and what a way to learn about the world in this humiliating way. >> certainly. right. appreciate you taking the time, dr. ludwig. and now a super bowl controversy. this just happened. basically the question we want to ask is if the nfl is ready for gay players. if you ask chris culliver, he said no. he was asked if there are any gay players on his team. here's how he answered that question. >> i don't do the gay guys, man. i don't doe that. >> are there any on the 49ers? >> no, they don't got no gay guys on the team.
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can't be with the sweet stuff. >> is that true? >> yeah, that's true. can't be -- nah. >> 49ers released a statement saying the san francisco 49ers reject the comments made tuesday and have addressed the matter with chris. there is no place for discrimination within our organization at any level. we have and will always support the lgbt community. out front tonight, let me ask you, the 49ers can say that. but the reason it's such a shocking and offensive thing as said by chris, i don't do the gay guys there, what he just said there, nobody is openly gay. nobody is okay with it. it doesn't seem to be okay. >> you're right, erin. as shocking as it may seem and as antiquated as it may be, i would say that those comments are a microcosm of the general overall thought when it comes to
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gay players in the nfl i don't know if the nfl is ready for gay players. >> how can someone break this? i mean, when manti te'o story came out, people started asking that. if there ever were to be a gay football player, would they be banned? i mean obviously nobody would admit to doing it but if you were openly gay. >> right. i think the key is, be who you are, embrace who you are. they are in a difficult situation, though. homosexuality in the nfl would not be embraced by the men in that locker room. i don't want to say it's across the board. i think it depends on the leadership in each locker room on every team. some teams and organizations may be more open-minded and understanding and there are a lot of players, current nfl players of the ravens who will play this sunday in the super bowl who have been out spoken and in favor of the gay rights and has joined the no hate campaign and that's good to see. >> he said not only are there gay players on his team, players
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should wait ten years to come out if they are gay. obviously i assume you don't agree with that. i want to ask you this, throughout history, gay athletes and sexuality went together. now it's the opposite. it's not allowed. did you just play with people that you knew or assumed were gay? >> well, it's a great question, erin. i played with quane harris who had an altercation. i played with him at stanford, one of the most kind, generous, caring individuals i've ever met. a great man. it's surprising to hear that this has come out. it seems very uncharacteristic. but the comments that were made by the defensive back for the 49ers, they are just ignorant. we all know the situation that they are in such a macheesemo environment, i want to say that
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i understand but i don't. >> if someone came to you and said, coy, i'm gay, i'm thinking about being the first person to come out, would you say, it might be better to wait ten years? >> i'm a firm believe in being who you are. as a team captain on every team that i've ever been a part, i've always been there for my teammates regardless of their sexuality. it makes no difference how you perform on the football field and some of the toughest, strongest men i know are gay. >> all right. thank you very much. eloquently put. the blackberry z10 does not hit stores until march. but we have one to show you tonight. our sneak peak is "outfront" next.
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so falling on hard times, outages, delays, most people describe it as lousy and a lack of decent apps. i didn't care about all of that. blackberry has been in a downward spiral. now it's trying to fight its way back. at an event today, the research in motion team launched what they hope is a massive comeback. there were some big announcements. first, it's no longer research in motion. they are going by blackberry. and that's appropriate since its fortunes are riding on a new blackberry device and operating system. it's called the z10. it's a 4.2 inch display with front and rear facing cameras. in comes in black and white. i'm not saying the screen, obviously. that's in color. in terms of the machine itself. and launches with 70,000 applications, including skype, amazon, kindle. it's going to be available for $200.
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if you want it, you may have to wait. the brits get it tomorrow but the americans don't get it until march. blackberry is a canadian company. unless you want to talk about it on a tv show, so i did get one. yesterday morning i got to take the z10 for a test are drive. i was very excited, as you can see. blackberry has ditched the track pad and has gone with an entire touch face interface. you go from the home screen to the hub and you can swipe around. you can do all kinds of fancy things. again, things i don't need. i care about one thing, the keyboard. and they have a device with a real keyboard coming out in april. but i'm testing this one out, all right? but there are some really neat things about this one. when you're typing and making all sorts of typos on the touch screen, the auto correct is pretty amazing and has this little bubble thing where you make a mistake, your fat finger doesn't go on one letter or the
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other, you can move it around. i'm still betting that i am going to go with the new one coming out with a real keyboard where i can whip around as fast as i do on my desktop. so far, it seems better to the iphone, at least to one person. "piers morgan tonight" is next. or that printing in color had to cost a fortune. nobody said an all-in-one had to be bulky. or that you had to print from your desk. at least, nobody said it to us. introducing the business smart inkjet all-in-one series from brother. easy to use. it's the ultimate combination of speed, small size, and low-cost printing.
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